Mount Spokane has accomplished a lot of great things in the 4A/3A Greater Spokane League.
But the Wildcats did something Friday night that even made coach Terry Cloer pause.
They swept all eight schools for the first time on their way to the undisputed league title.
The final hurdle was the “Battle of Bell” rivalry game – one Mount Spokane won 20-10 over Mead at Union Stadium.
TJ Haberman threw a pair of touchdown passes to speedy Bode Gardner to erase a first-half deficit – including the first 61-yarder connection with less than five minutes remaining in the first quarter that Cloer called “a huge play.”
“We let them score, and to answer with that … was big,” he said.
Jackson Hale’s 4-yard touchdown run early in the fourth quarter gave the Wildcats a 20-10 lead – and allowed them to earn a new piece of program history.
“I knew we had the potential,” Cloer said. “But we needed so many things to fall into place to get to this point.”
Colby Price rushed for 88 yards and the lone touchdown for the Panthers.
TRICK PLAY GIVES SKYVIEW NEEDED SPARK
The Skyview offense didn’t get off to the start coach Steve Kizer was hoping for.
So, in a timeout late in the first half, Kizer decided to go to a little trickery – a double pass.
It worked – and not only did it erase a deficit, it was the spark the Storm needed to go on and defeat Union, 28-6, on Friday night at McKenzie Stadium.
The Storm earned the 4A GSHL’s final playoff spots to next week’s round of 32 while the Titans’ season in back-to-back years with no postseason.
Union held a 6-0 lead when the Storm faced a fourth down just outside the red zone with 25 seconds remaining.
That is when quarterback Jake Kennedy threw left to Gavin Packer, who then threw downfield to a wide-open Jonathan Stromberg for a 26-yard touchdown connection with 19 seconds to go in the first half.
“It worked great,” Kizer said. “It gave us a big boost at halftime.”
Kennedy then led the Skyview offense 78 yards to close out the third quarter, capped by his 6-yard keeper touchdown run to give Skyview a 14-6 lead. He threw for a score and ran for another in the fourth quarter.
“He’s the fastest kid on the team,” Kizer said. “We had trouble protecting, so many times he saved us and got a first down. He is a competitor.”
MOUNT BAKER UPSETS NO. 2 LYNDEN CHRISTIAN TO FORCE 3-WAY TIE
In a do-or-die game for Mount Baker in the final game of the regular season against No. 2 Lynden Christian, the Mountaineers found themselves in a shootout with one of the highest-scoring offenses in Class 1A.
Not exactly a place Mount Baker coach Ron Lepper wanted his team to be.
But the Mountaineers pulled through in a 48-34 win over the Lyncs, creating a three-way tie for first place in the 1A Northwest Conference to keep Mount Baker’s season alive.
“I didn’t expect the score to be like this. There was no way,” Lepper said. “If someone had told me LC was going to score 34 I didn’t like our chances and, I, in my wildest dreams, didn’t think we’d score 48.”
As the Mountaineers have done most of the season, they handed the rock to running back Marcques George who found the end zone five times. Quarterback Landon Smith also had a pair of rushing scores for Mount Baker.
“All week long we focused on giving ourselves an opportunity to give us a chance,” Lepper said on keeping the season alive. “We’ve known been in games all year. We we had a solid team, we just had to put it all together and finish.”
The win forms a logjam at the top of the 1A NWC standings. Lynden Christian, Nooksack Valley and Mount Baker all have one league loss with only two playoff spots available.
The three teams will play a mini-tiebreaker – similar to an overtime format – Thursday to settle the two spots.